In an interview with BNA (subscription needed) the newly elected SEIU president, Mary Kay Henry, reports that her labor union’s top priorities will continue to be health care reform, immigration reform and passage of the jobs-killing Employee Free Choice Act.
We’ve highlighted before that labor leaders’ approach to passing this economically disastrous piece of legislation has changed. Political realities have forced labor groups to seek to implement the legislation by attaching it to other piece of legislation that are likely to move forward in Congress. Additionally Henry notes that labor is looking for ways to pursue the legislation at both state and national levels “any way [they] can.”
It’s still possible that labor group will seek to have the legislation called up for a political litmus vote in the Senate. Henry indicated that the groups wants to “hold Congress’s and the president’s feet to the fire,” presumably by forcing them express support for the bill through a vote.
One quote in particular provides a bit of insight into the mindset of this new labor head: “[There] always will be conflict because employers don’t want workers to have a say.” Talk about shutting off discussions before they can begin. Rather than pursuing conflict, shouldn’t employee representatives seek ways to work with employers and employees to seek solutions to the challenges facing our economy?
On this rainy Monday afternoon numerous labor groups staged a protest blocks away from NAM headquarters on K Street to blast Wall Street without any real discernible goals of their own.
Correction (2:50 p.m.): CW — We misidentified the photo originally posted above. It’s Liz Schuler of the AFL-CIO: